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Brief History of Fruitcake and Eggnog

Whether+it%E2%80%99s+loved+or+loathed%2C+eggnog+is+a+treasured+yuletide+beverage+made+of+eggs.+%0A%28Photo+courtesy+of+Pixabay%29%0A
Whether it’s loved or loathed, eggnog is a treasured yuletide beverage made of eggs. 
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Whether it’s loved or loathed, eggnog is a treasured yuletide beverage made of eggs. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Whether it’s loved or loathed, eggnog is a treasured yuletide beverage made of eggs. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

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Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year. It is a time of family, friends, giving gifts, and tradition. Think of the joyous connections between traditional celebrations, decorations, and, most importantly, food. In America, some of the more common foods that are associated with the jolly season are fruitcake and eggnog. Not only are these among the quintessential foods, but they’re also some of the most controversial.

“Many people say fruitcake is awful, but I tried it once and I didn’t think it was that bad. However, I have never tried eggnog, so I can’t say if I do or don’t like it,” says junior Chanel Teplik.

There’s a popular trope associated with fruitcake, and that is hating fruitcake. A Christmas memory details the two sides of the fruitcake spectrum with unnamed characters. An elderly woman and her seven-year-old daughter spend a December afternoon making fruitcake, and, when buying whiskey for their cakes, a man quips, “that’s no good way to waste whiskey”.

“I do complain a lot, but not about food. I like fruit and I like cake, and, even though I’ve never had fruitcake, I think I would like it because I like those things,” says junior Jearni McKinney.

Originating in the 13th or 14th century, fruitcake was a very cheap dessert. The original fruitcakes were very dense, sweetened breads which contained various nuts and dried fruits. The anomaly that is hating the treat began around the turn of the 20th century and has continued because of its portrayal in popular media.

“I love eggnog, but fruitcake is a whole different story. It’s like a slimey and spongy granola bar. It has more to do with the texture that makes me hate it so much. I’m glad I know more about it, but it’s gross,” says freshman Emily Fleming.

The other part of the dynamic Christmas dessert duo is eggnogOriginating in the 13th century England, eggnog was a mixture of egg yolks, milk or cream, cinnamon, and rum, among other ingredients. Although not as prevalent due to the supermarket counterpart, people still make homemade eggnog as a part of tradition.

“The history of eggnog [seemed interesting] because Washington had his own signature recipe, and because most eggnog sold in stores contain less than 1% of egg, which is peculiar since “egg” is in the name. Usually everything homemade tastes better,” says Teplik

Real eggnog, which is named after the main ingredient, contains more egg than the sweetened egg-flavored milk that eggnog purists say is a sham. Due to health concerns, supermarket brands of eggnog contain less than 1% of actual eggs.

“I absolutely love eggnog; I have already been [buying eggnog] before Thanksgiving even. My older brother, Kylon, used to get it all the time when he lived with us. Normally, it would be gone that same day just because of him and I drinking it. We loved it that much,” says McKinney.

Nonetheless, the tradition carries on. The yuletide drink sold in the store may not hold a candle to the homemade drink, and fruitcake may be hated for no good reason, but the sentiment is the same. Try something new and make these desserts this Christmas season.

“Homemade eggnog is so much better than the supermarket variety; it always tastes better and we get the experience of making it with my grandma. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it,” says Fleming.

Christmas is coming fast, so get ready to treasure the classic taste of the two desserts with your family.

“Christmas is great because I’m spending time with my family and I love the classic Christmas music I hear on the radio and in stores. Also, I love watching my family and friends open the presents I gave them on Christmas. What I think about the desserts are that they’re very traditional and almost everyone buys them for the holidays,” says Teplik.

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Brief History of Fruitcake and Eggnog